The Guardian September 5, 2001


South Africa:
General strike against privatisation a massive success!

The people of South Africa have spoken: "Stop privatisation, Build a 
strong public sector, Build a people's economy!", declared a statement of 
the South African Communist Party (SACP) following the more than week long 
mass actions against privatisation. The party statement continued:

The success of the general strike is a clear and strong message to the 
bosses and government that privatisation is not the route to go. [The 
strikes were] also a conscious offensive against capitalism itself and for 
the building of a people's economy which meets our people's basic needs, 
develops infrastructure and creates new, quality and sustainable jobs.

As the working class was the leading force in defeating apartheid, the 
working class has also signalled that it is not going to watch itself being 
sacrificed in the interests of the bosses. In fact, the working class has 
clearly demonstrated that it is indispensable in economic transformation.

It was a clear message to those capitalist vultures waiting to pounce on, 
and profit from privatised state assets that workers will not sit idly 
watching them pressurise the government to sell off state assets and turn 
basic services into commodities.

To those who think that the workers' struggle against privatisation ended 
today, let them not underestimate the resilience, fighting spirit and anti-
capitalist and socialist consciousness of the South African working class. 

The statement went on to say that never in our history [has the Party] been 
so united about what we believe should be the economic policy for our 
national democratic revolution. As the SACP has consistently argued, the 
restructuring of state assets must be geared to strengthen delivery and the 
role of the state in our economy.

The way forward now must include an extensive discussion in the ANC-SACP-
COSATU alliance together with SANCO (South Africa National Civics 
Organisation) in order to ensure that we find one another. It will be 
counter productive to continue as if the working class has not spoken

The SACP is prepared to play its role in building this alliance consensus 
based on the interests of poor and working people in our country.

Back to index page